I’m thinking about the whole “With vs. As” controversy that’s been going on recently, and to be honest, I’m not really sure what qualifies as identification as an animal. I mean, I know I’m a therian, I fit the definition, and I have similar experiences to a lot of other therians that I’ve talked to. However, I don’t really think of myself as a dog, at least not exclusively. Well, it’s more like I don’t spend a lot of time thinking about being either a dog, or a human. It just sort of happens.I think what I’m trying to say is that I “identify” as both canine and human simultaneously, and I tend to think of both as more of an experience than an identity.
Well, of course therians are humans as well… Some therians might feel really detached from their humanity, considering themselves only human physically (although I call bullshit - we are raised human too, and if you know how to write/talk, you have at least some human behaviours). But many therians identify as both their theriotype and human. The analogy of the sliding scale, or mixing buckets pf paint, are common.
But identify with, is something different. Like, when making a work of fiction, you would want your audience to identifiy with your main character, probably. You would want them to feel with them, sympathise with them, see the story from their perspective. A politician would want his voters to identify with him, to relate to his perspective.
This is quite different from identifying as something. JK Rowling wanted us to identify with Harry Potter (care about him, sympathise with him), not to identify as Harry Potter (introducing ourselves as him, and think our parents are dead). I can identify with plenty of male friends, feel I have much in common with them, like them, feel a part of their group… but I don’t identify as male, or think I AM my friends.
I too consider therianthropy much an experience. I guess the wording “experience-based identity” is the most correct here? Kind of like I identify as bisexual, because I experience attraction to men and women. I experience a lot of things, like mental shifts, species dysphoria, weird instincts, that makes me identify as part wolf.
In case people are interested in the categorisation, here is the list in it’s current form. And what it looks like in the context of one of the largest tables I have, mailing lists.
In the website, they will be translated to their actual labels, so you will never see these references. These details are only for the curious :P.
The hidden last categories are ‘Vb’ (blood vampirism) ‘Vd’ (vampire donors), ‘Vp’ (psi-vampirism), ‘W’ (weres), ‘XM’ (multiplicity) and ‘XS’ (shapeshifters). Some have been added for fun (like MHe-drk) or added for ideas of structure for possible future references (like MHe-ele-lis or MDc).
'X—' is more of an extra/multiple category - I don't intend on covering multiples or shapeshifters specifically; only when it crosses with mythics, therians or vampires and on an 'as i find them' basis. It's not really in my area of research interest right now tbh, therefore there will always be better resources on that than I can provide.
Categories makes my Virgo happy, heheh.
Under Elenari: Adrastai is a job description, not a sub-type/species/culture, as I understand. You’re probably still building this as you come across things, but besides Listari there’s at least Tulari, Kalthilas (can’t remember if that’s the same as Dai’ari), Shiri, and Draestari (not sure what you mean by “Draethings” as being apparently different than that, since you put it in with “Dark Elven” and not as a subtype of Elenari?).
I don’t know that I would put TdD as a subtype of Fae. They have some similarities to elves and fae, and whether they are interchangeable with Sidhe is perhaps a matter of opinion and which part of the family tree you’re looking at, but since in the lore that relates them they are more like ancestors of today’s faerie tribes, I don’t think it makes logical sense to consider them a subtype of said fae. Unfortunately I don’t know any TdD on tumblr, off the top of my head, to point you to about this…
I.believe in the magical. The mystical. The mayhem. The glorious melding of reality and mystery, the idea that there is so much more to this world that what our basic senses tell us.
I.believe I am a Dragon. I am a spirit of elements, a creature of chaos. A child of the void, a weaver of webs. I.believe in.purpose and feeling, light and love. An eternal melding of the inner magical with the world around me.
I.believe in.hope, in.the idea that a person is more than flesh and bone and that a soul can.be anyone or anything. I believe in.the freedom to.express and speak.and be heard.
Being a Dragon is my heart, my soul, my anima, my guiding point and brightest light. I am always going to.dance the threads of my own reality, weaving between my.soul and those around me.
I believe in possibilities. All that I am, all that I will be…I.believe in myself.
I think that this “iron allergy” is all in the minds of fae. I think that perhaps, the minds of fae can affect their own state of being far easier than the same with humans.
Hmmm, interesting idea. I’m not sure about “all in the mind”, but I imagine a number of those who think they suffer particularly (vs. just a mild “eh, iron is weird sometimes” reaction) might learn to leverage the effect of the meat-suit — which provides some serious armor — to reduce said discomfort. It is probably worse for fae in “natural state” vs those in human bodies, witness the amount of lore saying that iron provides protection against magics in general, not just the faery peoples, but then again, the otherworlds are not stagnant, so maybe the same can be true for “natural” fae: some, at least, can overcome it with will and practice…?
It would be hard to rig up, but I think a double-blind iron testing would be a neat thing to do at an otherkin gather with enough fae/elves at it. (I think we did a single-blind at Company of Others back in 2007…? can’t remember though.)
Okay, using SQL. I’m making a particular table for ‘category’ (ie. kintype usually), that other tables (such as irc channels and mailing lists) relate to.
There is an ID for every kintype and sub-kintype that has an accompanying item of info or place online, and I want to make sure the IDs are recognisable when I’m doing database work so…
…basically, I’m making a dewey decimal system for kintypes.
Given your tags (#elven is currently 1.1.1 #draconic is currently 1.2.1), I guess it’s not taxonomically hierarchical? Although I suppose you thought that somehow elven and dragon were together in some larger overarching category, or they wouldn’t both be 1.x.x…. anyway, I’m interested in this kind of thing :D
During the late summer and into early fall of 1994 an aspect of the therian community (note: it was still commonly called the were community back then) that would come into existence were it would remain in general popularity for years to come would be the werecard.
A werecard is a short questionnaire for the individual person in the were community. Werecards began being posted on alt.horror.werewolves in September in 1994 and by mid December in 1994, werecards rapidly began to be posted by various members. By late 1994, the with questions for the werecard had become standardized to how they would be known as for nearly two decades.
These early werecards included standard fields such as at place for a person’s given name (called their “human name” on the werecard), their personal name or username (called their “were name” on the werecard), their birthday, their hobbies/interest, and so on. Of course, considering alt.horror.werewolves still being a place for werewolf fans in some extent, as was its original intention, there were also fields like “Favorite Were-art,” “Favorite Were-movie,” and so on. They also included fields more geared towards weres (meaning therians) including a field for someone to note their “phenotype” (the word they used for some years until theriotype was created use to phenotype having a meaning other than what they were trying to imply). At the end of the werecard it included a field called “Personal Therianthropy” (though the earliest versions said “Personal Lycanthropy” instead) were people could give a more detailed explanation on their experiences and so on.
These werecards were used extensively on alt.horror.werewolves and even still used outside the newsgroup on other therian websites for many years. It wasn’t until the mid 2000s that the use the werecard dwindled, and now is no longer used in the therian community.
Utlah, “Werecard Archive”, The WereWeb, http://web.archive.org/web/20100530023624/http://www.swampfox.demon.co.uk/utlah/Werecards/index.html [accessed April 13, 2013]
Alt.horror.werewolves, https://groups.google.com/forum/?fromgroups#!forum/alt.horror.werewolves[accessed April 18, 2013]
While digging around for some other things on elven-realities, I think I found messages between myself (as Eshari) and some other people trying to work out an “otherkin card” system along these lines. I think it proved, er, waaaay too complicated, even without trying to account for systems of multiple non-humans in a single body.
(Am I misremembering, or was there a “draconic card” thing out there…?)
to all the otherkin; do you express in your everyday life that you’re n otherkin? does it show in your behavior, clothing, choices of activities etc. ?
well… my hair is purple. I’ve had a lot of people ask me if I was an elf/faery since I did that. otherwise, subtle things. silver shoes. wing rings. things like that.- a
(My hair used to be purple, heh.) Well… some? I mean, it’s not as obvious as me going around wearing wings all the time, but I think there are some things where I try to show it subtly, like wearing a faery/elven/seven-pointed-star pendant, choice of motifs on t-shirts, occasionally wearing ear cuffs, glitter… I’m not in a situation where I can make my living space ideally as I would want to, but I think that’s another place that can easily reflect one’s ‘kin-ness. I think if there’s never anything at all that you do because it flows out of, that is, corresponds somehow to your kintype, that’s a little odd. But OTOH not everyone is OMG OBVIOUS at a glace.
to all the otherkin; do you express in your everyday life that you’re n otherkin? does it show in your behavior, clothing, choices of activities etc. ?
Oh of course. I tend to milk cows at night then destroy crops in the morning if no one gives me any cookies.
cream and honey or gtfo
On a nicer note, the revised standalone version of my resources (and a few of my best writings, just presented with more pizazz) is coming along well, and will be finished soon.
The layout is much more stable (heh) and compatible with browsers than my current Tumblr template is. They also condense into mobile-friendly layouts (but they don’t play nice with my dev preview of Windows Phone 8.1 atm, might be a glitch with the OS :s)
(‘ilovescimitars’ is a stand-in. I’m rather stumped as to what I’m actually going to call it. Also, all the content WIP.)
Goodness, you’re linking to me!
You can use my whole site’s title “starlight awakening” if you want something a bit more colorful than just “eristic.net > otherkin”. I don’t really have a separate name for the otherkin section, though I’ve been toying with the idea of breaking that apart onto its own domain for approximately 4.3 million years.
Silveth asked the status of the Otherkin Social Network I am trying to build.
Currently I have secured the domain Kinwithin.com and am looking into software that will help me manage the site. If all goes well I hope to deploy in the later part of the year.
Resurrecting a zombie again here. I saw someone mention PHPfox in another context. Is that the kind of thing you’re looking for?
well my oceankin and naturekin identity simply means my soul feels very connected to all things nature (plants, trees, moss, fungi, forests, rivers, etc) and all these oceanic (coral reefs, sea creatures, etc). it’s more of a broad term to describe a connection with all of those things!
I’m slapping this over in a new post, especially since the post-thread it came from is focused on a different (and interesting, I’ll add) topic.
I just want to point out that “all things nature” equals literally all things or all things in existence. Yeah, it’s common practice to refer to nature as basically ‘anything not human and not man-made’ but really neither humans nor man-made things are outside of or separate from nature. So it seems an overstatement in this case to say it’s a connection with “all things nature”. By extension, being naturekin would either be “identifying as all things of/in nature” (i.e., everything in existence, maybe even some fictional ‘if this existed’ things) or “identifying as something within nature” (which would be so broad and vague as to be nearly pointless of a term).
On another note from that quote: there is a terrible trend primarily here on Tumblr that involves calling oneself “-kin” for just about anything that the person has a “connection to”—sometimes deep connections, sometimes not.
I have a deep connection to the Sun and other stars—hence my alias I’ve used for nearly ten years—but I’m not star’kin or space’kin. I have a deep connection to sand dune deserts and they hold an important personal symbolism to me and invoke a sense of “home” when I see images/video of them, but I am not any kind of desert’kin (heck, I don’t even have a ‘kintype that would live in such kinds of desert). Plus various other deep connections—crows, antelope, dragonflies, dholes, grasslands, angels, shapeshifters, etc., etc. I am not otherkin of these things (and really, the main overlapping ‘kintype of mine with a ‘deep connection’ is my vampire ‘kintype, and it took quite awhile before I even began to consider it could be a ‘kintype in part because I just assumed it was only a long-lasting, strong connection).
Point being: connections and identifications *with* things/entities, however strong or mild, are okay and valid—whether there’s a specialized term for the given kind of connection or not. Otherkin, therianthropy, and fictionkin are about, at their cores, being something/someone in a personal, integral way—alternatively worded as “identifying *as*” something/someone, and this may or may not include a strong or otherwise notable connection to that thing/entity.
This is not a matter of elitism or acts of superiority to signify that otherkin/therians/fictionkin are ‘better’ or more ‘profound’ than connections to whatever because these are just differences in *kind* of experiences and identifications and not a hierarchy of legitimacy or superiority with otherkin/therians/fictionkin at the top.
I highly recommend the article written by Bewylderbeast called “It’s Okay Not to Be a Therianthrope” (and a similar point from it can be applied to non-therian otherkin and fictionkin). I’m tired of seeing our core terminology—in definitions—being warped, mainly due to misunderstandings or spread of misinformation, or because X people want to apply the otherkin/therian/fictionkin terms to themselves without regard enough for what they really mean and why.
And lastly, it’s cool, valid, and fine to not know for however long, even permanently, whether oneself falls under otherkin/therianthropy/fictionkin or something else also or instead. These things can be difficult to figure out and being able to tell the difference between deeply identifying *with* something verses identifying *as* something subjectively, let alone finding the proper fitting term(s) (if one exists), can be horribly confusing and potentially a long process to go through for many people who look into otherkin/etc. as a possible fitting concept for them.
General rule of thumb for this stuff: try to figure out what you experience and how it fits into your identity, aspects, life, spirituality, personal symbolism, etc. before worrying much about what/which term fits best that aspect of yourself/your life; find the label/term that fits you, rather than trying to make yourself fit a given label/term.
well my oceankin and naturekin identity simply means my soul feels very connected to all things nature (plants, trees, moss, fungi, forests, rivers, etc) and all these oceanic (coral reefs, sea creatures, etc). it's more of a broad term to describe a connection with all of those things!
so do you identify as these things or with these things? only the first one, from my understanding, warrants being labelled as otherkin, at least under the traditional meaning of the term… or am i being an old fuddy duddy who can’t keep up with the evolving nature of words here?
[clipped for brevity]
Sorry for popping in again with my “you people are re-inventing the wheel again” comments, I don’t want this input to be viewed as negativity, but I just needed to say that charts and diagrams are not a new thing in the community and it brings its own problems and erasure.
There are types of therianthropy that don’t fit in sliding scales for instance, such as contherianthropy which is outside the human/nonhuman binary. I’ve written about it in length in my younger years to correct the misconception that contherians are “50% shifted” or “50% animal”, and so did a couple other contherian writers such as Liesk, and all it’s done is leaving a bad taste in my mouth because there are more people spreading false definitions than there are actual contherians speaking up to correct the errors.
Back to the topic of diagrams, it created huge amount of drama when the subject last popped up about ten years ago, to the point that some older members of the therian community wrote about it (such as in this article from Keller, a leopard therian who is now “retired” from the community). People made charts and people criticized others’ charts and then some people would take it personally and then it was just a shitstorm.
(For the historically curious, I knew the therians and their names who are referred by Keller in the “joke chart” paragraph, I was around when it happened and I even have on my hard drive the original chart that prompted the joking reaction; although again the person didn’t intent any harm).
Ultimately, much like gender, species identity does not fit nicely into charts. I mean, it works out well for some people, and not so well (or downright terribly) for some others. As long as people keep this in mind I guess they can experiment with charts and all, but it’s best to leave others’ therianthropy alone.
In other words: make your personal diagrams to explain your personal therianthropy if you want, but don’t try to make a chart to fit everyone’s identity or subtypes of therianthropy because you invariably end up misportraying their experience, and it’s difficult to repair the damage afterwards when false information is spread about them.
please be assured that i’m not on a quest for the Ultimate Graph of Comprehensiveness - i’m just looking around, gathering opinions, processing them and trying to throw stuff out there that beings can use. if even one being other than myself finds it a useful way to express their own identity then i feel i’ve done my job. because there are those, like myself, who do need labels to this degree of detail. what with otherkin being such a broad term, my experience is different to someone who believes in this purely psychologically potentially to the extent where we can’t find any common ground.
i’d like to think that, rather than reinventing the wheel, i’m just making it rounder. and i’m certainly not mandating that this system be used by everyone,
i doubt i’d be listened to if i didafter all, i’m just a guy with a blog.
I understand you have the best intentions in mind ^^ I just felt it was important to remind Tumblr readers of our history (at least the therian side of it, I’ve never been on Otherkin forums) so that they know about the pitfalls of the options that are being explored again today.
A lot of people on Tumblr are new to the whole thing, being around for less than a couple years, and so they don’t know of everything that’s happened before (unless they did a lot of digging on older sites and around older members, but for the most part I’ve seen that’s not the case).
I think the debates would stagger less if people knew about what’s been discussed before and what happened, instead of periodically bringing up the same subject, starting from scratch (which is what I called “reinventing the wheel” - people coming in saying “hey I have this great idea” which older members have seen times and times before along with the number of trainwrecks that follows the ideas).
Otherkin is not the strict belief of the idea you were reincarnated. It is not the strict belief that you are “actually” an animal “trapped” in a human body. It is, simply put, the belief, idea, or feeling, that you are somehow, in some way, connected to something, a being, entity, creature, or thing, that is not you in your current physical form and/or consciousness.
I was with you right up to “connected to”. Otherkin identify as it. If someone just feels connected to it, no matter how strongly, that’s not otherkin.
When I say connected, I mean either spiritually or mentally or something, not just ‘really really like it’.
You may wish be explicit about that then. A lot of people say connected and mean it as simply connected. Some people even say it’s a spiritual connection, but unfortunately they do tend to mean a connection.
In response to your tag, yes, otherkin is the identification of being something*. If someone does not identify as in some way non-human, they are not otherkin. If someone only believes themselves to be connected to something, even if it’s spiritually, they are not otherkin, because that’s not what otherkin is. I have a spiritual connection to werewolves, but I am not a werewolf.
I recognise that some people, and an increasing number with the Tumblr generation, do disagree, but otherkin has meant this for some time.
*This is not the same as saying it’s identifying as 100% fully non-human. That’s actually pretty rare and in many ways as impossible as identifying as physically non-human.
Some infographical satire of bullshit I see often.
If you’re unsure about if your kintype is really correct with your kind of energy, here’s a chart complete-with-western-symbolism for your convenience.
If anyone takes this seriously, I’ll wish that I could do something nasty and that I’d probably regret. Probably involving your head (but don’t mind me, I’m a dark elf, that’s just the way I feel most of the time hur hur hur).
(btw, I don’t mind this stuff as an analogy or vague ideas, but I too often see this as some ridiculous new age/psionic hard science)
Congratulations, you made a D&D two-axis alignment chart. :P
Seriously, though… it is funny how sometimes people seem to feel that our otherkin existences should fit reasonably neatly into this kind of scheme, like it was all purposely created for a game system. I am all for stealing useful concepts from RPGs if they work, but it gets up my nose when e.g. I see someone operating off Dragonlance’s ideas about chromatic and metallic dragons and overapplying them to all kinds of dragons, like obviously all dragons are sorted into these colors each with their own alignment, habitat, and elemental breath weapon based on their color, especially without knowing that’s specifically where those ideas come from. (If they were actually a Krynn dragon fictionkin and thinking about it consciously I suppose that would be different.)